Central Bank of Bahrain invites innovative firms to cross-border testing pilot
Published on 3 February 2019
Media Center  Press Release  Fintech

Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain – 3 February 2019: As part of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is inviting applications from firms wishing to test innovative financial products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction.

The GFIN is a network of 29 international financial regulators and related organizations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers. The pilot cross border tests follow last year’s consultation on the role of the GFIN in creating an environment that allows firms to simultaneously trial and scale new technologies across multiple jurisdictions, gaining real-time insight into how a product or service might operate in the market, while ensuring appropriate consumer protection is in place.

Mr. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the CBB said, “This step marks an important milestone in our drive towards digitization and innovation in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the mutual efforts undertaken by all GFIN members in enhancing our Fintech ecosystems. This will build on the success of our the CBB’s own Regulatory Sandbox which launched in mid-2017, and will attract even more companies to test their innovative financial solutions.”

H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “Bahrain has created a successful FinTech ecosystem built on a foundation of strong regulations, a talented workforce with a long history in the financial services industry, and cost competitiveness. The Kingdom also remains at the forefront of innovation, adopting new digitalisation laws which encourage disruption and the introduction of new technologies. The CBB’s commitment to encouraging innovation by introducing initiatives like the Regulatory sandbox and the cross-border pilot tests further strengthen Bahrain’s position as a FinTech hub.”

Firms interested in applying to take part in the pilot cross border tests should review the list of participating regulators and submit an application to the CBB’s Regulatory Sandbox before 28th February 2019.

The GFIN has also finalized terms of reference for governance and membership of the group, and welcomes formal expressions of interest from regulators and international organizations interested in joining. There is no deadline for these applications. More information can be found on the CBB’s website.

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